WA Branch President - Sinan Kerimofski

Leonie Clelland Rebecca Duyckers Mathilda Joubert
Rachael Lehr Olivia-Lee Matthews Natalie Oddy
Bruno Pileggi
Gary Racey Merrilee Wright

Sinan Kerimofski

ACEL WA Branch President

Sinan is the Principal of Vasse Primary School, an Independent Public School, situated in the southwest of Western Australia. Vasse Primary is situated in a rapidly growing suburb. The school was established in 1869 where 12 students commenced their schooling with one teacher. Now the school boasts over 790 students and 93 staff. He has worked in rural, regional and metropolitan schools in Western Australia over the past 30 years. Sinan’s focus has been to ensure the school is well resourced with a strong positive culture through focusing on fostering positive relationships.

He is also passionate about engaging students through creating flexible, adaptable and stimulating learning environments.

Sinan's leadership beliefs are simple:

  • Create clear vision and direction
  • Build solid relationships through positive communication and shared experiences
  • Surround yourself around good people
  • Acknowledge innovation and self-improvement.

Sinan values all of the leadership opportunities that ACEL offers from workshops to readings. Sinan has thoroughly enjoyed his time as an active member of the WA Branch over a number of years.

Leonie Clelland

Branch Executive Member

Leonie is currently the Principal of Karrinyup Primary School, taking up that position at the commencement of 2020 following on from being the Foundation Principal of Treendale Primary School. Treendale opened in 2014 in Australind under Leonie’s leaderhip. She has been a school leader in regional WA for over 17 years, leading a diverse range of schools in the Pilbara, Midwest and Goldfields before opening Treendale. Leonie also had the opportunity to act in the role of Regional Executive Director of the Wheatbelt at the end of 2019. This gave her an eye opening experience to the diverse and complex leadership required to lead schools in unique contexts with challenging circumstances.

Developing 21st Century learning skills in a dynamic, collaborative and fun learning environment where student and staff well being is valued and enhanced is paramount to Leonie’s beliefs. She strives to develop creative, curious, confident and resilient learners who are ‘Future Fit’. Leonie led Treendale to be widely recognised as a leader in the genuine and highly effective integration of Digital Technologies across all year levels and learning areas. As an Apple Distinguished School, Leonie is often asked to share the school’s journey and successes.

Leonie brings breadth across settings and is respected amongst many colleagues. During the recent COVID crisis she was asked to part of a small number of Princpals to offer advice and consultative leadership as well as head up a selection panel as moderator for the next round of Independent Public Schools.

In 2016 Leonie was amongst the first cohort of Principals to be selected to travel to Harvard University and become a ‘Fellow’ of WA public education. As a long suffering Fremantle supporter and member, she enjoys the ‘odd’ SSB, long walks and the company of her three children, family & friends.

Rebecca Duyckers

Branch Executive Member

Bek Duyckers is Head of Imaginarium at Perth College Anglican School for Girls. A multiple award winner in teaching, innovation and leadership, she has two Masters degrees (Learning Difficulties and Gifted Education) and is currently undertaking her third (Leadership). Bek’s doctoral research is on target for completion in 2020. Her research explores the intercultural communication competence students acquire through global collaborations using Web 2.0 tools. She is a passionate leader of innovation, working collaboratively with staff to embed evidence-based pedagogies across K-12.

Mathilda Joubert

Branch Executive Member

Mathilda Joubert is Director of Excellence and Innovation at Sheridan College and Lecturer in Leading School Improvement. Prior to this role she worked for seven years as a system leader leading school improvement at Swan Christian Education Association. Her varied background includes working as Innovation Consultant to companies like Coco-Cola, Unilever and Phillips, researcher to Sir Ken Robinson, creative learning consultant, policy advisor, primary and secondary school teacher and academic. Mathilda is a true cross-disciplinarian and an advocate of lifelong learning with two bachelors and three masters degrees (in music, languages, education, cognitive neuropsychology and business) and currently completing her PhD at UWA, studying the measurement of student creative thinking skills. She has worked directly with more than 500 schools on a range of successful school improvement initiatives and has advised national governments (e.g. Australia, Lithuania and the UK) on curriculum and assessment policy development, including acting as expert advisor for ACARA on Creative and Critical Thinking Skills. She continues to advise schools on the teaching and assessment of creativity and is currently evaluating the FORM Creative Schools program for the WA Department of Education.

Rachael Lehr

Branch Executive Member

Rachael Lehr is a deputy principal at West Beechboro Primary School, and a science and digital technologies lead teacher. She is passionate about the authentic integration of digital technologies and STEM learning into the classroom and hosts an after-school Girls in STEM Club, as well as Minecraft and Lego lunch clubs. Rachael hosts #PrimarySTEMChat each week on Twitter, and is a previous recipient of the ACEL New Voice Scholarship and was recently awarded an ACEL Fellowship.

Olivia-Lee Matthews

Branch Executive Member

Olivia has 18 years of experience in education as a teacher and leader in rural and metropolitan schools and is currently Deputy Principal at Vasse PS in the South West. She has worked in both Catholic and Public school sectors specializing in a range of areas including Early Childhood, Special Needs, Science, Numeracy and Digital Technologies. Olivia is especially passionate about Early Childhood Education and strives to inspire and empower innovation and lifelong learning through her role as Teacher Development School Coordinator in the Early Years. She understands the importance of building capacity and promoting best practice within the Early Years so that our youngest students have a solid foundation to succeed at school and in life. Olivia is driven in her work by a strong moral purpose to develop authentic relationships with others and to always hold student wellbeing at the centre of everything she does. She enjoys the learning opportunities that ACEL provides her to continuous development as a future focused leader.

Natalie Oddy

Branch Executive Member

Natalie Oddy is the Associate Principal of Jolimont Primary School, a Western Australian School of the Year winner in 2017. She has completed a Master of Education in School Leadership from the University of Western Australia. As an experienced school leader, she presents professional learning on a variety of topics and embeds innovation and change through ongoing coaching on the art and science of teaching. Natalie has been a recipient of a number of awards, including the 'New Voice in School Leadership' award from the Australian Council for Educational Leaders in 2018. Natalie has authored a number of articles for educational publications as well as publication of her Honours thesis.

Bruno Pileggi

Branch Executive Member

Bruno Pileggi has worked for over 20 years in numerous roles in WA across Catholic and Government schools, including various positions within Central Office in the Department of Education. Bruno is currently Deputy Principal at Ballajura Community College responsible for the Middle School, Teaching and Learning and Student Services. He has led school and statewide projects centred on improving outcomes for students whilst empowering and building the capacity of teachers and school leaders. Bruno is passionate about lifelong learning and is committed to continual growth and development of the teaching profession.

Gary Racey

Branch Executive Member

Gary has been an educator for 28 years, with 25 in leadership roles. He has introduced multiple innovative programs, always seeking to lead by example through commitment, vision and passion.

He was featured in the ‘Educator Magazine Top 50 Hotlist’ in 2017, after being acknowledged as one of the most outstanding and influential educators in Australia and was awarded the ‘ACEL WA Certificate of Excellence in Educational Leadership’ in 2018.

Gary has taught in all education sectors, including public and independent schools, from district high schools to large K-12 schools. He has a passion for 21st Century learning and pedagogy, using contemporary, flexible and engaging spaces to motivate and engage young people. He currently leads the first and only vertical, inner-city school in Western Australia, St George’s Anglican Grammar School.

Merrilee Wright

Branch Executive Member

For fifteen years Merrilee has been privileged to contribute and lead state and national development and implementation of inclusive education practices in local school and education support, secondary and primary school settings. Commencing as a Level 3 Classroom Teacher and through subsequent roles as Principal, Past-President of the WA Education Support Principals and Administrator’s Association, a past WA Representative to the Australian Special Education Principals Association and a member of numerous WA Department of Education, cross-sectoral and SCSA advisory groups, she has shared her experiences to assist in the collaborative development of inclusive strategy, policy and practices to further enhance quality education for students with disability and additional need.

Merrilee is the substantive Principal at Gwynne Park ESC. In the last two years as a Director, Public School Review, she has embraced the opportunity to review and validate public school performance and improvement practices across WA and offers her broad experience in the promotion of personalised learning and knowledge of school improvement through a focused investment in the provision of support that aims to fulfil the individual capabilities and needs of all learners – at class, school and system levels.